Envious Casca – Georgette Heyer, 1941

A week ago I would have called this one of my favorite mysteries of all time, but on re-reading it’s not as compelling as it used to be. It may be the falling tide of my interest in mysteries lowering all boats (as I get pickier with age) because all the ingredients still seem to be present: good British cozy setting, entertaining characters (well-meaning Uncle Joe, who manages to drive everyone straight up a wall while trying to be nice, is particularly memorable), the always-enjoyable locked room setup, funny dialogue and situations, and a heart-warming romance. But there’s a little too much telling instead of showing, and the solution is not as believable as one might wish. Maybe I’ve just read it too many times. I got out all the Heyers I kept (purged most of them years ago) because of recommending them to a library patron who loves Agatha Christie best of all and doesn’t find anyone to compare to her. She enjoyed the one (IMO inferior) Heyer mystery we had at the library (A Blunt Instrument, I think) and I’m going to lend her mine. Where’s Behold, Here’s Murder, though? I must have misplaced it…

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